Plaintiff instituted this declaratory action seeking to
have its policy declared automatically terminated as of June 1,
2002, because the owner of the insured vehicle allegedly
transferred legal title to another individual on that date.
Although the motion judge likely erred by concluding that there
was no valid transfer of legal title because the assignment of
the certificate of title was not filed with the Division of
Motor Vehicles, we affirm on different grounds. We held that
the owner's failure to strictly comply with the Motor Vehicle
Certificate of Ownership Law by not providing an odometer
reading, as required by N.J.A.C. 13:21-5.9(a), rendered the
purported assignment of the certificate of title incomplete and
thus did not legally serve to transfer title. As a result,
plaintiff's policy was not automatically terminated and coverage
remained with plaintiff.